Monthly Archives: August 2007

September Back to School Days Contest

Congratulations to Janet Worley, our August winner!

This isn’t just once-in-a-lifetime.  It isn’t even when one of us has a new book out.  Nope, this contest will be every month, without fail, rain or shine, through thick and thin.  So drop by every first of the month and check out what we’re giving away this time and how YOU can win.

September 2007 prizes!

Autographed copy of Jasmine Haynes’ Rita-nominated anthology, Somebody’s Lover

Autographed copy of Leigh Wyndfield’s Night Whispers Anthology

A custom-designed coffee mug from Dee S. Knight

Autographed copy of the Zodiac Earth anthology from Keira Ramsey

Copy of Larissa Ione’s new e-book download release from Samhain, Snowbound

Here’s how the contest works!

When:  It runs the first of the month through the 20th of the month.  We’ll choose one winner on the 21st and make the notification.  The next contest will then being on the 1st.

How:  To enter, simply go through each of our sites, find the answers to our monthly questions, then send an email with your answers to skullycontest@gmail.com  The winner will be chosen at random from amongst the entries with the correct answers.  We will contact you, ask for your snail mail address and you’ll get lot of presents!

Who:  Jasmine Haynes/ Jennifer Skully, Dee S. Knight, TL Schaefer/ Keira Ramsey, Leigh Wyndfield, and special guest author, Larissa Ione.

Restrictions:  You MUST be 18 years or older to enter and US residents only.

September 2007 questions!

Jasmine Haynes/ Jennifer Skully

http://www.skullybuzz.com/

Question:  In Jasmine’s November release, The Fortune Hunter, who is Faith’s best friend?

Leigh Wyndfield

http://www.leighwyndfield.com/

Question:  Who is the heroine in Desert Heat, Leigh’s novella coming in October 2007

Dee S. Knight

http://www.deesknight.com/

Question:  What is the title of the book Dee has coming out in September 2007?

TL Schaefer/ Keira Ramsey

http://www.tlschaefer.com/

Question:  In The Saints of Midland, what holiday does the story begin on?

Larissa Ione

http://www.larissaione.com/books/sydney

Question:  What is Haley Holmes’s occupation in Larissa’s Sydney Croft title, Riding The Storm?

Thursday Thirteen…13 ideas in the story bin…

I thought I’d look through my works in progress (most aren’t begun…just ideas I’ve jotted down).  Theoretically, I’ll be working on these through 2010, if I can get my butt in gear enough to pump out 1K a day!

  • Sea of Dreams — #3 in the RuneQuest Series (contracted) – 30K
  • Breath of Heaven — #4 in the RuneQuest Series (contracted) – 30K
  • Omega Five – erotic futuristic for Black Lace (req’d) – 70K
  • Live and Let Die — #2 in the Talented Series – 95K
  • Die Another Day — #3 in the Talented Series – 95K
  • Tallie Ho! – erotic contemporary – 30K
  • Angels of Recokoning — #2 in the Chosen Two Series – 85K
  • Paragons of Virtue — #3 in the Chosen Two Series – 85K
  • Unnamed – erotic paranormal ghost story – 30K
  • Duck and Run – contemporary – 75K
  • The Fisher King — #3 in the Mariposa Series – 70K
  • Guilt – contemporary detective story – 75K
  • Monarchs – Western romance – 75K

What’s Going on With Me Wednesday

 Hey all!  Well, this week I got a decent amount written (about 3K), which is under what I’d like, but I got past a sticky point in the story that had put me in a conundrum.  Oh, how I wish I were a plotter instead of a pantzer!  It would sure make the whole “I’m stuck” thing go easier, but every time I try to plot, the story comes out flat, and I end up loathing it.  On the plus side, though, I’ve written every day in the last week, so I’m retraining myself a bit now that I’m in my “selfish” mode of doing only stuff for me, myself, I (and the hubby) for the next year. In the back of my head, I’m already starting to work on the second book in the Meece Foundation series, and jotting down notes as I go, so that I’ll be able to write up a quick synopsis to go with View when I start selling myself to agents.

In other news, I’ve started back up on the watch-what-I’m-eating train.  I’ve actually been doing it for a few weeks now, rather than working out (it’s been about 190 degrees here in Oklahoma…when it’s not flooding, that is), and it seems to be working.  I’ve lost 11 pounds since the first of the year, which isn’t stellar, but it IS slow and steady.  I figure it took me a long time (17 years of marriage, eating regular meals, that sort of thing) to gain this weight, so if I take it off in the same manner, it’ll probably stay off.  And so far, so good.  When the weather cools down a smidge, I’ll probably either hit the gym or start walking again, but for now, I’m okay with the way things are going.  I love my friend Heather’s way of posting what her weight goals and such are, so I’m shamelessly stealing it from her, and will update every week!

Your current weight : 224 lbs
Weight change since your last recorded weight :-0.5 lbs
Total weight change to date :-11 lbs

TABT…The Givency Code by Julie Kenner

 As if a recent breakup, scrounging for rent money, and lusting after designer shoes weren’t enough to make graduate student Melanie Prescott’s life challenging, she’s suddenly practically living The Da Vinci Code.  A mysterious stranger is sending obscure codes and clues her way and she soon discovers she has to solve them in order to stay alive.  With stakes like that, her dissertation on “the derivation and primary characteristics of codes and ciphers used by prevailing nations during wartime” is looking a little less important than it was yesterday.  Right now she’s just worrying about living to see tomorrow.  The only bright spot in the whole freakish nightmare is Matthew Stryker, the six-foot tall, dark, and handsome stranger who’s determined to protect her.  Well, that and the millions of dollars that will be her reward if she survives this deadly game.  And she’d better survive.  Because that’s a heck of a lot of money to be able to spend on shoes and handbags and sunglasses and dress, and, well, it’s hard to be fashionable when you’re dead.

I’m not much of a chick lit fan, probably because I’m the furthest thing from a fashionista you could possibly imagine (I’m perfectly happy in picking up a sundress at K-Mart, thank you very much).  This book promised to be more than relationship angst and shoe shopping, though, so I decided to give it a shot, and was I ever rewarded!  Mel is a fabulous character, one I’d love to have a drink with while discussing history (and a shared passion for shoes).  To me, she was a chick lit heroine with down-to-earth roots and sensibilities.  And as for Stryker, well, I have a thing for military heroes (even if they’re out of the service) and he fit all my expectations for the honorable, hot Marine to a tee.  I highly recommend picking up this book…it’s a wild rollercoaster of action, with the added bonus of a believable budding relationship between Melanie and Stryker.  You’ll use your brain on this one, while tripping through some of Manhattan’s most delectable shopping venues.

M/M Monday…The New Guy (a guilty pleasure)

The New Guy (2002) … This is one of my all time guilty pleasures.  No, not because of the storyline, because that’s pretty goofy, but for the fabulous cast of characters.  The hero, DJ Qualles, is the penultimate geek, and you can’t help but root for him, but when the parade of supporting actors and musicians begins to roll through, I’m in my serious happy place. 

The plot is this:  Dizzy Harrison is a total and complete geek.  After a particularly humiliating experience, he ends up in jail, and befriends Luther (Eddie Griffin), who spins him a story about recreating himself and going to a new high school.  Dizzy decides to go through with it, and decides to be a complete badass with a don’t-give-a-shit attitude.  The storyline is predictable, but highly amusing, and will make you smile.

But as I said above, it’s the supporting cast that will really catch your attention:  From Lyle Lovett, as Dizzy’s father and Ileana Douglas as his misplaced guidance counselor, to Eddie Griffin, Gene Simmons, Henry Rollins, Tommy Lee, Josh Todd, Kool Moe Dee, Vanilla Ice, and David Hasselhoff.  Oh yeah, and Tony Hawk.  Um.  Wow.  Seriously, seeing Henry Rollins play a prison warden is irony of the highest order.  And damn, at the end of the day, when our hero gets to play his gig, he does a damned decent version of Play that Funky Music, White Boy.  If you want a movie that’s fun and let’s you check out for an hour and a half, this is definitely one to pick up!

Fantastic Interview Friday…Suzanne Brockmann

  This month y’all are in for a fabulous treat…Suzanne Brockmann, author of the *hugely* popular SEAL series books has agreed to chat with us!  Those of you who’ve perused my book reviews know that I adore her work, and the totally true-to-life depiction of our military men and women.  I don’t think I’ve ever read a female author who can delve into the male psyche quite so deeply and believably as Suzanne, so when she agreed to this interview, I was just a smidge jazzed <g>!

Without further ado…Suzanne!

MftBS: What’s the coolest thing that’s happened to you as an author?

Suz:  The sheer thrill of holding a book that I wrote, a book with my name on the cover (!!!) in my hands is pretty cool — even after having written more than 40 of ’em.  But I have to say, the coolest thing, IMO, is hearing readers talk about my characters as if they’re real, living, breathing people — the same way I’ve been talking about my favorite fictional characters (Jim Kirk and Spock, and Buffy and Angel and Willow and Giles) for years.  I also really love meeting readers — both via email and face to face.  It’s just undeniably cool when a reader makes an effort to tell me that my words, my stories, my characters have touched them in some way. 

MftBS: If you were trying to describe your work to a new reader, what would you say?

Suz:  Even though my books are considered Romantic Suspense, what I really write are action/adventure romances.  If bookstores were amusement parks, my books would be the roller coaster, not the haunted house ride!  <g>  Despite my plotlines featuring counterterrorism (I write mostly about teams of Navy SEALs), my books are extremely character driven.  My goal as a writer is to make readers care about my characters.  I want you-the-reader to come on a journey with my characters — to laugh and maybe even cry with them as they face personal hurdles and make that ultimate human connection with another person, as they fall in love. 

MftBS: Who are three of your favorite writers & why?

Suz:  Number one, hands down, has to be Joss Whedon — the creator of what I consider to be the best television show ever:  Buffy the Vampire Slayer.  I’m also a huge fan of his shows, Angel and Firefly.  The man can not only write in terms of story, character development and dialog, but he really understands the power of a story arc.  (I write using long-term story arcs, too.)  Interestingly, I didn’t discover Joss until recently, until Buffy was released on DVD — which is a great way to watch episodic TV, IMO. 

Next would be Carla Kelly, who writes Regency romances for Signet.  I just love her books — she writes wonderful characters.

Ooh, only three is so hard… 

I’m going to have to say Dean Koontz is number three.  (At least he’s holding that slot today!  LOL!)  I’ve got to give him that honor for writing a book called ODD THOMAS, which, IMO, is a perfect gem of a book.  Again, it’s all about his characters.  He writes great characters.

I’m also a fan of Alesia Holliday and Virginia Kantra and Virginia Ellis, who wrote another perfect gem of a book, The Wedding Dress.  I rarely read books twice, but I read The Wedding Dress pretty much once a year. 

Robert B. Parker, William Goldman, and Jack Schaeffer, who wrote another gem-book:  Shane.  (I just couldn’t leave them out!  LOL!)

MftBS: What is your oddest habit while writing?

Suz:  LOL!  Jeez, I dunno…  I guess it’s that I sometimes mutter bits of dialog as I’m writing to hear what it sounds like when spoken aloud.  That and running my hands through my hair.  It gives me a total mad scientist look.

MftBS: Last but not least…what tidbit of BSP (Blatant Self Promotion) would you like to share with my devoted, die-hard fans?

Suz: I’d like to remind readers that my book, BREAKING POINT, is available in hardcover.  And that Ballantine has recently reissued both OUT OF CONTROL and OVER THE EDGE in paperback, with a special “Try it, you’ll like it” low price.  Oh, and that last year’s New York Times bestseller, HOT TARGET, will be out in paperback in November.  Last but not least, visit my website at www.SuzanneBrockmann.com !

Grrr…

Well, I had this cool Thursday 13 about the various books I have in the bucket (and yes, there ARE 13…at least), and then realized, as I was getting it ready, that I didn’t have the files to make it work like I wanted, so I just shitcanned it in favor of doing it next week *g*.

In happy news, I did get a bunch written today–hubby had to stay at the office for lunch, so as I always do when I don’t have a date *g*, I grabbed a smoked chicken sandwich from the bowling alley (hey, it’s better than it sounds!) and went to the park to smoke, listen to my alternative radio station, and write!

What’s Going on With Me Wednesday

Well, I’m baaaack!  Are you scared yet?  LOL.  Seriously, the last two weeks were just draining at the day job.  I was totally cool with posting on Monday and Tuesday, and then all the steam went out of me.  I didn’t write, heck, didn’t even read much, which you KNOW signifies I’m terribly ill *g*.   Anyway, things have settled down, so now I’m hoping to get back into the swing.  I’ve even been working on my writing…sent View to my last critter, and got about 2K done on Sea of Dreams.  I’m stuck at 5K for Omega Five, but since that’s a proposal and not a contracted book, I’m gonna let it perc for a bit before I start to stress. 

I FINALLY figured out how to put the Wordmeter up in the sidebar (yeah for me!), so I’m going to leave it up there and update as I write (my friend Rachel does this for her books and I think the visual kick in the ass is fantastic). 

Okay, so here’s the plan.  Assuming Leigh (my crit partner) doesn’t think I’m totally smoking dope on View, I’m going to work up a couple-page proposal on the next two books and then go agent shopping.  I have a few in mind already, so keep fingers and toes crossed for me, K? 

Well, off to the day job…have a great one y’all!

TABT…Hallowed Ground, by Lori Armstrong

Grisly murders are rocking the small county of Bear Butte where Julie Collins has spent the last few months learning the PI business without the guidance of her best friend and business partner, Kevin Wells.  Enter dangerous, charismatic entrepreneur Tony Martinez, who convinces Julie to take a case involving a missing five-year-old Native American girl, the innocent pawn in her parents’ child custody dispute.  Although skeptical about Martinez’ motives in hiring her, and confused by her strange attraction to him, Julie nevertheless sees the opportunity to hone her investigative skills outside her office.  But something in the case doesn’t ring true.  The girl’s father is foreman on the controversial new Indian casino under construction at the base of the sacred Mato Paha, and the girl’s mother is secretly working for a rival casino rumored to have ties to an east coast crime family.  Local ranchers—including her father—a Lakota holy group, and casino owners from nearby Deadwood are determined to stop the gaming facility from opening.  With the body count rising, the odds are stacked against Julie to discover the truth behind these hidden agendas before the murderer buries it forever.  And when Julie unwittingly attracts the attention of the killer, she realizes no place is safe…not even hallowed ground. 

What a great book!  Armstrong’s sophomore outing is, if anything, stronger than her first (Blood Ties…which was also riveting).  The mystery is first and foremost here, with a pseudo love triangle between Julie, Kevin and Tony reminiscent of Evanovich’s Ranger and Joe, but more believable.  Armstrong writes gritty extraordinarily well, but none of the violence is gratuitous and the mystery itself is extraordinarily well done, with red herrings abounding.  The ending made sense and was satisfying, as was the relationship with the two men in her life.  Tony is the complete anti-hero, the ruthless head honcho of a motorcycle gang with toes dipped in all kinds of illicit activities, but you can’t help but like him and root for him.  If you like Tami Hoag’s later works (Dark Horse), then you’ll love Armstrong’s books.

If this sounds like your cup of tea…but it here

M/M Monday…Mean Girls (2004)

Mean Girls (2004)…This was an interesting movie.  I liked the concept behind it, even more so the fact that Tina Fey was the screenplay writer, but in the end, it just didn’t have the punch for me that something like The New Guy (one of my all-time faves for the musical/guest-star component), Can’t Buy Me Love (when no-one but us Eighties freaks knew who Patrick Dempsey was) or She’s All That has.  Don’t get me wrong, I like Lindsey Lohan enough as an actress (she was great in the new Parent Trap and Freaky Friday, never mind her apparent fascination with being a Mean Girl in real life) but in this one, the story of fitting in and redemption didn’t ring true enough.  Granted, Rachel McAdams (as Regina George) was a revelation as the original Mean Girl.  In fact, she was the best part of the whole movie.  If this is something you can get on free-TV, like I did, then no big, but I wouldn’t recommend shelling out bank for it.